We have just finished the second round of ‘maintenance chemo’ and to say it has been a roller coaster would be an understatement. In early November Bill had his first of six rounds of maintenance chemo. This means five days of chemo followed by twenty three days off. Bill had tolerated the initial chemo fairly well so we began the first found feeling fairly confident. We were put in our place quickly. The dose this round was much higher and despite anti-nausea medication Bill was sick, sick, sick the first night. Through trial and error we discovered when he could and couldn’t eat to keep the illness in check and the rest of the days were ok. He finished the first round on a Tuesday and it was one of the best days I can remember him having in months. Wednesday arrived and in 24 hours things turned 180 degrees. He began sleeping 18-20 hours a day (more if I would let him) and his symptoms returned to a level that was very similar to the days directly after the biopsy surgery. It was a very, very tough week. We started him back on the steroid to control swelling (which he had been off for a few weeks) and eventually got in to see a doctor. Dr. Bester, new to us, but wonderful (one of my favourites so far), quickly arranged an MRI and prepared me for the worst – tumour progression. Bill had the MRI the following day and the results came back much better than we anticipated. No new tumour growth – just new swelling. Swelling is a major complication, but it is a much better option than a growing tumour as it can be treated with the steroids. Just as things started to level out it was time for round two. We got a much stronger anti-nausea this time and things went a lot better. Bill is really tired as a result of the chemo but manages to maintain an amazing attitude. The timing of the chemo is quite good as he will be two weeks post when Christmas arrives so we are hoping it will be a good day!
Please keep your fingers crossed that this tumour keeps shrinking!